Writing a Business Plan
Updated May 19, 2015
For prospective Calgary business owners who need some help writing their business plan, I am now offering a "mini business plan writing session." I can still work with you and research and write the entire business plan but some people just want an initial consultation with their new business idea before investing a larger sum of money on a full blown business plan.
The following is included in the 2-hour session:
- Structure of the business plan
- The Financials - what goes in them
- How to collect data for the business plan
- Pointers on each section of the business plan
- If time allows: A 30 minute read through and advice when you have your first draft finished
I will even give you a financials template in Excel to work on your business plan.
Updated: November 30, 2011
Why do I need a business plan?
- Your business plan functions as your road map. As you start your business, track your original ideas and financial estimates
to see how accurate you were. This is the best way to measure your ability to make sound business decisions.
- You may be seeking financial assistance. A good business plan will clarify, to investors, why exactly
you want their money and, more importantly, what is in it for them.
- The process of writing your business plan may be the first time you look at the entire scope of what it is that you are trying to do.
What goes in to a business plan?
- For some, confusion, fear, anxiety, and frustration.
- As I upload this new webpage content, on November 30, 2011 I am writing a business plan for an Importing/Wholesale Company.
I am about 30 hours in to the process and about 80 percent complete. I will meet with
Calgary's Best Tax Accountant
to review my pro forma financial statements and get a second opinion of the plan.
- More time than you may expect.
What are the main sections of a business plan?
- Executive Summary - other than the financials, this is the most read part of the business plan
- Company Overview
- Products (and or services)
- Market Analysis
- Marketing & Sales
- Management Team
- Financial Plan (B-E Analysis, Pro Forma Statements, Scenario Analysis, Time to Payback)
Can David Howse Marketing Help?
Yes. Copy and paste these questions in to a Word document, answer them to the best of your ability and, email the document to me.
What follows are some questions that need to be asked. These questions will help you gain a better understanding of your business idea (from abstract to concrete).
Having some information, even informally written, will help. Answer as much as you can and if you can't accurately answer a question just make a guess and mark that answer with "My Guess". All of these will find their way to the business plan.
Don't worry if you don't know how to answer a questions, I will help you with all of these points when we meet. Don't spent too much time researching, answer what you know and spent no more than a few minutes on the rest.
The fee for this three hour meeting is $250.00 +GST. If we only meet for, say, two hours then you can use the other hour another time.
Description: What is the business?
Why is it necessary/what creates a need for its services?
What is a profile of the typical customer?
Geography: Where are you located and where are your primary customers located?
USP: What is unique about your flooring store (in the eyes of a consumer).
RTB: Why would consumers believe your USP?
What are your thoughts on:
Your own website
Customer Relationship Management (how you engage current clients and help them refer new clients to you)
Unaddressed ad mail (junk mail)
Addressed ad mail
Video (on website)
Ongoing customer research
In-store marketing (other than merchandising)
Staff training (beyond closing the deal)
Other thoughts on marketing strategies and tactics?
Your Goal: This is what it is all about.
What dollar numbers does your business need to generate to make you happy?
How will you get there? (the mix of a good operations plan to control costs, smart buying, and a good marketing plan to increase sales).
Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org